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Donations being sought for Dominican Starfish Foundation

Posted on February 1, 2024 by admin

By Heather Cameron
Westwind Weekly News

Kathryn Parker, an employee of the Jim and Mary Kearl Library in Cardston, recently engaged in collecting donations for the Dominican Starfish Foundation.

“My family is taking a trip to the DR in February to help with the Dominican Starfish Foundation and have a vacation,” said Parker. “When I told Donna Kearl at the library about my family trip she wanted to help out and suggested that the library could help me collect donations.”

Parker collected donations until February 1, and ended up collecting one full bin of donations, did some shopping for donations, and also had people donate privately. The Starfish Foundation, Parker says, also has a website where people can donate cash if they would rather do that instead of donating goods.  

“I feel great about being involved in the cause,” said Parker. “We’ve never done this before, so it’ll be really interesting.”

The Dominican Starfish Foundation, according to their website, is a group that became a registered charity who operates with a nine-person board of directors after originally going to the Dominican Republic on vacation and seeing the needs that people had there. Doug Palmer of Edmonton, Alta. is the President of the Board of Directors and Palmer’s first trip to the Dominican Republic was in 2006, a trip that included his wife, Charlotte, suggesting that they bring supplies to share with locals there.

The founder of the Dominican Starfish Foundation, the website states, is Louise ZoBell of Stirling, who first travelled to the Dominican Republic in 2006 for a holiday and ended up collecting items for donation upon her return home. The actual Dominican Starfish Foundation was officially created in 2012 when the group began fundraising for the foundation when they raised funds for a school. According to the website’s overview, which was written by ZoBell, the Dominican Starfish Foundation operates as Dominican Starfish Foundation in Canada, PAL Humanitarian Services Inc. in the United States, and Fundación Amor, Estrella de Mar, es Amor in the Dominican Republic. Pearl Giles of Layton, Utah is the President and Founder of PAL Humanitarian Services, Inc. and she has been to the Dominican Republic several times. Pearl and Louise combined their efforts and PAL Humanitarian and Dominican Starfish Foundation have been working together since 2015. Amarilis Urena is the director of Fundación Amor, Estrella de Mar, es Amor in the Dominican Republic and also works with a board of directors.

“This is my first time going and it’ll just be an adventure for us,” said Parker. “I really don’t quite know what to expect, so it’ll be fun.” 

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